The wind went cold as the day went old,
And I went very sad,
Till I saw something by the road
That brought me round and glad.
The keen wind nipped me northerly
And bent me back almost,
And I was the worst discouraged man
Abroad on any boast,
The road was rocks and wilderness
And never a sign of a town,
It tapered up a wicked hill,
I tried to curse it down,
But like an undefeated man
I mounted, slow and hard:
And round the top was a little house
With a woman in the yard.
She was a housewife in her yard,
Tending her husband's place;
The broom was busy in her hand,
The goodness in her face.
She brushed the yard, she brushed the step,
She made the leaves to spin,
Tidying up her husband's place
Outside as well as in.
I knew no woman and no house
And night was just ahead;
Yet I went cheerful down the hill
Rested and warmed and fed.
For some man had a woman there
To keep his board and bed;
'I have seen women by these bad roads,
Thank God for that,' I said.